Why Cattle Implants Pay

Implants are a great investment technology for cattle producers with one of the highest returns on investment. But how do implants work and how do they actually pay off in the long run?

How implants work

Implants are small pellets inserted into the ear of a calf. They slowly release a growth stimulant that helps increase growth factors that result in more lean muscle.

There are two different types of hormones used in beef cattle implants. There are naturally occurring hormones and synthetic hormones. 

Naturally occurring hormones include:

  • Estradiol

  • Progesterone

  • Testosterone

Synthetic hormones include:

  • Zeranol

  • Trenbolone Acetate

Zeranol mimics estradiol and trenbolone acetate mimics testosterone. 

How implants pay

Implants have a very solid ROI. Increases in daily gains of 15-20% can be expected in the feedlot. Feed efficiency sees a 6-14% improvement when an implant is used that includes both estrogen and androgen.(1)

While marbling scores are reduced with implants, ribeye area is increased by 3-4%. Overall carcass weight at harvest also increases when an implant is present.(1) 

When it comes time to design your implant program, you’ll want to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to help you maximize the benefits of an implant program while minimizing the negative effects and help you meet your marketing goals. 

Food safety

Growth-promoting implants are approved and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Beef that comes from cattle that have been implanted have similar estrogen levels as beef from non-implanted cattle. 

This chart from Texas A&M University shows estrogenic activity in a variety of foods. For scale, a nanogram is the equivalent of one blade of grass on an entire football field. 

Source: https://beefskillathon.tamu.edu/implanting-beef-calves-and-stocker-cattle/

Shop Animal Health products

All cattle implants are on sale through October 31. Shop implants from Elanco, Merck and Zoetis on the FBN® Animal Health store


Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. 

FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

Individual results from use of implant products may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, animal diet, time, method and manner of application, application rate, and geography.


Need assistance from the FBN team?

Fill out the form below to connect with our team. Or call us at (877) 218-9411.

Order Anytime, Anywhere
Animal health made for your busy schedule. Shop online 24/7.
You Need It. We Got It.
Shop online & get crop protection delivered direct.